We all know that Marketing and Sales are extremely important for any small business. While marketing and sales are important, branding your business is just as vital.
A bad first impression is no impression at all, and can cost you vital conversions. Also, poor branding is the equivalent of showing up for an important meeting improperly dressed and late.
First impressing is very important. There should be no excuse for a poorly implemented branding.
There are three important things I see a lot of small businesses nowadays neglect when defining their brand’s personality;
- Conceptualizing your visuals (such as a logo and banners)
- Claiming social media handles
- Creating custom email addresses.
To the very least, these three should all be on your checklist. Your business branding need to capture the very best leads.
In this article, we will be talking about four key basics for branding your business that you’ll need to follow. Before we dive into the basics, let’s start by discussing why branding is so vital to your business!
Why branding your business should be one of your primary goal
Branding is your promise to your potential customers (leads). It should give a snapshot of what they will get if they purchase your product and/or service.
There are a lot of reasons to make sure that branding is at the forefront of all your business.
- If you implement your business branding correctly, this is increase your perceived professionalism from potential clients.
- It makes you unique by generating a unique a Brand Identity, which potential customers will recognise regardless of where it appears in the internet.
- Most importantly, branding offers consistency across all of your promotional channels, such as blogs, social media, newsletters, press releases, print media (e.g. business T-Shirts) and wherever channel you choose to advertise your business.
Branding is more than just a fancy logo — it’s how your company is perceived by potential clients.
What it stands for, and how business is conducted. Working on your business branding is vital to success.
4 essentials steps (actions) to take when branding your business
Fortunately, branding your small business isn’t as complicated as most people think. I've seen company hire other companies these 4 steps. It's really easy to brand your business and give you a headstart to the profitability.
Let's break it down into 4 steps;
- Start by defining your essential goals.
- Map-out, Study and Understand your target audience.
- Conceptualize your brand’s personality and identity.
- Take advantage of social media and free marketing channels.
Now that you’re familiar with the importance of branding, let’s expand on these 4 steps to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your marketing efforts.
1. Define your essential goals
We strongly recommend that you recognize your branding goals in the early stages of your business. This will lay down a solid foundation for future business (especially marketing) decisions in the future.
To do this, you’ll need to ask yourself a few simple questions, such as:
- What am I trying to achieve?
- What is the longevity of my business?
There’s much more you could work on here. Ultimately, however, you’ll want to determine some specific objectives for your business and write them down.
2. Understand your target audience
I can't stress the importance of understanding your target audience. This is very important to the long term goals of your bsuiness.
When you understand your target audience, you will be able to answer these question without stuthering;
Who are you trying to sell to?
Please don't tell me you are trying to sell to everyone. Don't get me wrong, your business can probably support everyone but your branding should have a target audience.
For example, VatPay's target audience are B2B Service Providers making lesss than $500,000 a year.
Our branding targets the IT Managed Service providers. A perfect example will be JTek Services LLC. An IT service firm based in Champaigne, IL with just 9 employees.
However, VatPay will work for all Small Businesses that provide some sort of service to another business. And definitely not for the construction industry because most of the contractors in the construction industries are B2C. We are primarily B2B.
I totally understand that narrowing your target market may sound crazy, but it will increase your conversions.
In addition, you will save a lot money in Marketing when you narrow down who you think are more incline to pay for your services.
To begin, you’ll simply want to look at your current customers and those of your competitors, and try to come up with an average customer persona.
The next step is to list the benefits of your products and/or services, and make sure they match this persona. The goal here is to start thinking about what the customer needs from you (value) before they’ll open their wallet.
Once you understand that, you can move onto developing your communication strategy.
3. Create your ideal customer persona.
Now let's take the knowlege you've learned about your customer base (competitor's customer base) and develop a specific personality and identity to match it.
When you present a persona that your audience can relate to, they’ll be more inclined to pay for what you are selling.
Some of the things to consider here are your business logo (It should be highly professional). Unless you are a graphic designer, I will recommend hiring a freelancer on either Upwork.com or 99Design to create a professional logo package for your business.
Also consider the tone you use when writing your business tagline (e.g. Your Satisfaction, Our Pleasure for a customer service business) and even the format of your email address (which we recommend should contain your domain name). You can always get a cheap domain name for Godaddy or any other domain name provider. It cost only about $10/year on average.
I can't stress this enough. To portray professionalism, your email address should always be attached to your website’s domain or similar domain with your business name (e.g. VatPay.email is one of our domain).
One of the important part of having a consistent brand personality is to ensure your name and tagline is consistent across all platforms.
I will recommend registering your business’s domain name as soon as possible because there are a lot of poaching companies out there. When we bought VatPay.com, we also bought VatPay.net, VatPay.email, VatPay.co, VatPay.us and VatPay.org to prevent poachers from stealing our business' identity.
4. Run consistent social media and other marketing channels
After you've setup your website and submitted to search engines (Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tool), I will recommend you look to other direct marketing channels such as social media.
Forty-one percent (41%) of Americans think that having a strong social media presence is important for any business. I will recommend
giving this due attention.
Please if you haven't created a social media site for your business (FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc), I will strongly recommend you pause at this point and create them before finishing this article. It doesn't matter if you plan on using them today. Just create your social media pages atleast FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram (depending on your type of business).
However, we recommend posting on a regular on all your platforms because your posts on these platforms are also crawled by search engines. The more articles (posts) you publish on your business social media pages, the more exposure you get now and in the long run.
This will help you offer consistent social media branding and deter domain squatters from hijacking your efforts and stealing your online bsuiness identity. Some of them will later ask you to buy this pages from them.
Branding your business usually take some effort, but benefit outweighs the work in the long run.
In this article, we’ve discussed branding your business — more specifically what constitutes good branding — and how to achieve it.
Let’s recap the four steps you’ll want to follow:
- Define your essential goals to provide a foundation for your branding efforts. This is very crucial.
- Understand and hone in on a suitable target market (audience) so you’ll know where to channel your marketing budget.
- Create a customer persona based on your current customer base or competitors customer base.
- In other to create a great lead generation system and a strong conversion funnel, you need to make your marketing and social media branding is on point.
Branding can make or break your business. The good news is that branding your business doesn’t have to take too much effort from you.